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HomeFact Check2018 Incident Of Udupi Man Averting Train Accident Falsely Linked To Odisha...

2018 Incident Of Udupi Man Averting Train Accident Falsely Linked To Odisha Tragedy

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim
A 53-year-old labourer, Krishna Poojari, ran 6km to alert railway authorities about a broken track.

Fact
The incident happened in Karnataka’s Udupi in October 2018.

Soon after the shocking train tragedy in Odisha’s Balasore on June 2 that killed at least 261 people, several social media users are circulating a graphic showing a 53-year-old Krishna Poojari, a labourer, who purportedly ran 6km despite a leg ailment, to inform railway officials about a crack in the tracks, thus averting a major tragedy. Thanking Pujari for saving many lives, users are linking the graphic to the recent train accident.

The archived version of the tweets can be seen here and here.

The Odisha train accident

At least 261 people are feared dead and over 900 people injured in a major rail accident involving two express trains — Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express and Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express — and a goods train in Balasore district of Odisha on June 2. The train crash, reportedly the fourth deadliest in India according to available records, happened near the Bahanaga Baazar station in Balasore district, about 250km south of Kolkata and 170km north of Bhubaneswar, around 7pm on Friday.

Also read: Viral Tweet By President Joe Biden On Rahul Gandhi’s US Visit Is Fabricated

Fact check

Newschecker noticed that the viral graphic stated Krishna Poojari’s actions had averted a major tragedy, which was not the case, raising our doubts.

We then ran a keyword search for “Krishna Poojari train”, which led us to multiple news reports on how a physically challenged man in Udupi, Karnataka, ran 6km to inform railway officials about a broken track in October 2018. The reports can be seen here and here.

According to a Newsminute report, dated October 29, 2018, “When Krishna Poojary, a 53-year-old daily wage labourer in Udupi, saw a broken train track on Saturday, he didn’t hesitate to act. Despite an ailment that had left him with a limp, Poojary ran as fast as he could for six kilometres to alert railway authorities. By the time the railway team reached the spot, the earlier gap in the track had already widened and a train bound from Goa was set to arrive.”

“On learning that a train from Goa was en route, the railway authorities instantly contacted other stations and informed them of the impending danger, while simultaneously fixing the track,” the report read, adding that temporary emergency devices were put in place to avert the sudden danger.

Although the distance Poojari ran differed across news reports, with Times of India and The Hindu stating it was 3km, the rest of the stories and the photo confirmed that the viral graphic was about the same individual, whose timely action averted a major tragedy.

Also read: What’s The Truth Behind Viral Video Allegedly Showing ‘Medicine Jihad’?

Conclusion

A 2018 incident where a physically challenged man alerted railway officials to a broken track, preventing a major train accident in Karnataka’s Udupi, falsely linked to 2023 Odisha train tragedy.

Result: Missing Context

Sources
The Newsminute report, October 29, 2018
Times of India report, October 28, 2018


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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